Oishi Ribbed Cracklings in Old Fashioned Salt & Vinegar & Special Edition Awkward Wednesday: The Patio Asian Story

Junk Food Nation, it’s 2012, and it’s time for us to get to know each other better.  I’ve posted about a new junk food every day since 6/24/2011, so what have you learned about me so far? Well, you know I live in DC. You know I’m an attorney. You know I’m a Bills fan, that I love junk food, and that I am extremely awkward.  Well, here’s another piece to your puzzle: I’m also Asian. Taiwanese, to be specific.

I know what you’re thinkin’: “Awh man, another Asian writing a junk food blog?” We can revisit this topic later. I mention my ethnicity only because recently, Gawker picked up a story about an Asian girl who ordered a pizza from Papa John’s, got the receipt, and found that the pizza was for “lady chinky eyes.” Gawker in turn asked more readers to share their weird-receipt and fast-food racism / sexism tales. This spawned a number of other stories and pics, which you can see here, here, and here.  Funny and ridiculous coverage. I’m not here to discuss race issues today (or ever, if this blog can help it), but I thought I’d share my OWN receipt-story:

Near my office in downtown DC is a sports bar called the Greene Turtle. It’s a typical sports restaurant with TVs and chicken wings, but in the summer it’s a popular spot because it’s the only eatery near the Verizon Center that has outdoor seating. Anyways, on a hot summer day almost four years ago, my friend Joe and I were outside eating lunch. Our waiter seemed very pleasant. Afterwards, we got the check, and I looked down to see this: (I highlighted the relevant portion; click picture for larger version)

"Patio Asian" - thanks, Greene Turtle (click for large version)

Yep, “Patio Asian.” Because, hey, I was the Asian sitting on the patio.  (Joe is not Asian.) I didn’t say anything about it at the time, although my friend Joe was in insta-WTF mode. I kept looking around wondering what other customers’ receipts said? “Fat bald guy.” “Black girl with unibrow.” “Hot chick with one crooked tooth.” “Sort of hot girl who used to be hot but is quickly passing her prime but still dresses slutty.”

I took the receipt back to my office and showed everyone. Of course, it became a hit in the office, and my friend Lucy took to calling me “Patio” or “P.A.” randomly.  I still have the receipt here in my apartment, and sometimes I’ll tell the story and take out the receipt to prove it.  It’s faded considerably after all this time, but the message is clear: (you insert sarcastic comment about the Greene Turtle’s employees).

And, in celebration of this story, I thought I’d review an Asian junk food today: Oishi Ribbed Cracklings in Old Fashioned Salt & Vinegar!

The Money Shot

Oishi Ribbed Cracklings in Old Fashioned Salt & Vinegar…it’s always enjoyable when the name of the product is a full-on sentence, don’t ya think? I found these Ribbed Cracklings at my local Super Q-Mart, a Korean/Latino grocery store that hasn’t changed their weekly ad since September.  Oishi is a …well, I have no idea what kind of company it is by looking at the website. The bag says its a product of the Philippines, but the website feels eerily similar to JJ Abrams’ Slusho site.

By the way, this bag was inflated so tight I was afraid to open it lest I be thrown through the window.

Beer match!

Oishi Ribbed Cracklings in Old Fashioned Salt & Vinegar talks about “beer match,” which apparently is Oishi’s attempt at making snacks that pair well with beer. It’s strange for me to see an “Objective” section on a bag of junk food, but hey, who am I to judge?  If Oishi wants these chips to read like a resume – so be it.

That things the size of his HAND

Now, who’s THIS guy?!  And why is he labeled, “Classic”? Is he, as a cartoon of an old white guy, Oishi’s visual representation of the word, “Classic”?  Is his NAME “Classic”? And does it bother anyone else that with a snack that has the word “Ribbed” in the name, he appears to be holding a condom?

Personally, I’d prefer some Nu Wave salt & vinegar, but if we MUST go old fashioned…

More air = stale shit

On the back of Oishi Ribbed Cracklings in Old Fashioned Salt & Vinegar, there are clear instructions: “Store in dry place.” “Consume after opening.” “Weird chickens wear UGGs.” “Uncle Classic rides again.”


Size = BM.  Yeah, I’m not even gonna try to come up with a joke for that softball.

Instead, I refer you to the silhouette of the UGG-wearing chicken throwing trash away.  I dunno why it’s there.  I was hoping YOU’D tell ME.

Enhance that flavor and retard that rancidity

Oishi Ribbed Cracklings in Old Fashioned Salt & Vinegar contain vegetable oil, pork artificial flavor, MSG, and fish sauce. I didn’t know I was getting a bag of Moo Shu Pork! And TBHQ is the final ingredient, to (yikes) “retard rancidity.” I didn’t even know “rancidity” was a word until now.

As for TBHQ, according to my research: “TBHQ is used in many foods, ranging from crackers to crisps to fast foods. It is also found in certain brands of pet foods, as well as in cosmetic and baby skincare products, varnish, lacquers and resins. It is used in the stabilisation process of explosive compounds. The risks and side-effects of this preservative product far outweigh the benefit of it being used as a highly unsafe preservative ingredient.”

Um….check please.

Pillowy huge crisps

Oishi Ribbed Cracklings in Old Fashioned Salt & Vinegar look just like…big rice crackers? They look sort of like these Octopus Chips I previously reviewed.

Ribbed squares of tapioca starch

The smell emanating from the bag was of a faint sour vinegar. So…there’s that.

If you squint, looks like rippling desert valley

Oishi Ribbed Cracklings in Old Fashioned Salt & Vinegar, up close, look pretty plain. There’s some powder on the puffy crisp, but its the same color as the chip itself.  Way to wear all beige, Oishi.

Thick cut

I popped some of these Oishi Ribbed Cracklings in Old Fashioned Salt & Vinegar into my mouth and chewed.  And damnit if that wasn’t a tasty ribbed crackling!

The texture: similar to an air-popped chip or a deep fried pork rind, these crisps were light, fluffy, and crunchy at the same time.  Plenty of air within, these were not a dense chip.  Good crunch to the teeth.

The taste: When you first place one on your tongue, you get the immediate flavor of sour malt vinegar (which is interesting because I didn’t see vinegar listed in the ingredients list.) The vinegar is well matched by a general saltiness to this puffed crisp.  The taste of the puff was wheat-y (this was not a rice cracker). As I chewed the crisp, the sour salty flavor gave way to a very very light spicy tingle on my tongue, which was a surprising finish to this snack.

I guess when you mix all that MSG and other harmful chemicals together, you CAN get a flavorful bag of junk food!  Nice work, Oishi. I did not try this with beer, for fear that all the artificial chemicals mixed with alcohol would result in me geysering out of one of the ends of my body.  But hey – beer match away, Junk Food Nation!

That’s my review for today.  Thoughts on the Patio Asian or the Oishi snack? Tell me in the comments below or hit me on Twitter @junkfoodguy or on my Facebook Page.

Sincerely, Junk Food Guy

Discuss - 14 Comments

  1. Lucy says:

    E – I was just telling this story the other day due to the Papa Johns story. Too funny! I love my patio Asian!

  2. Shorneys says:

    “Patio Asian” is going on my next set of business cards.

  3. Kahnfucius says:

    It does kinda look like the guy is holding up some sort of “Golden Condom” perhaps that he discovered in his box or Oishi Ribbed Cracklings in Old Fashioned Salt & Vinegar put there by Willy Oishi himself! Which makes it “classic.” Also, probably one of the earlier winners ate some ribbed cracklings on the Oishi factory tour and was turned into the UGG-wearing chicken (possibly Tom Brady?).

  4. leroy says:

    I’m Asian as well but I didn’t find your receipt offensive at all. Sounds like it was a way for the waiter to remember who the receipt belongs to. You made it sound like the place is really busy so they had to come up with a way to remember who ordered what. I could be wrong though. As per your review of the chip, you seem surprised that a bag of “junk food” had so much junk in their ingredient. Why is that?

    • junkfoodguy says:

      @Leroy: On its face, you’re probably right – it’s (“asian”) not an offensive descriptor, so being designated as such shouldn’t be offensive. I guess it was more surprising than anything else.

      As for the Junk part – because I had hope otherwise? 😉

  5. I love this review! Very accurate and humorous. We are adding Ribbed Cracklings to our international snack store and found your site doing a little research.

  6. Drix says:

    Can i ask maam/sir? Do cracklings has a pork meat added or artificial only?

  7. Vito says:

    Had this when I was a kid growing up in the Philippines. This is Oishi’s version of the pork rind without the actual “rind” of course. It is flavored with salt and vinegar because salt and vinegar is the main dip of choice when eating pork rinds in the Philippines. Actually the authentic dip itself consists of vinegar, salt and crushed garlic. As for the label “classic” on the packaging, I think Oishi put it there because it is the first snack of its kind in the Philippines and its been around for a while. You should really try it with beer

  8. Like this product its number 1 flavor is the best no one has its taste delicious and amazing feeling that why I always order this at goods.ph with great delivery fishy is the best for creating awesome snack… thank you for years of servicing us…

  9. Best With a beer, I tried it after reading this.. Awesome snacks while drinking a beer it makes me relax while drinking and watching movie.. I actually have bulk of those that I order at goods.ph with their good quality service that made it possible…

  10. KITAN says:


  11. Khrystah says:

    Found these in my local Vietnamese grocery store about 10 years ago. Absolutely ADDICTED to them. They are beyond awesome!!! Anyone who loves salt & vinegar chips will love these! 🙂

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